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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie hockey hits the ice with Longhorns

The Texas A&M club hockey team’s chance to saw ’em off is here.

The Aggies (5-5) will challenge the Texas Longhorns (5-4) starting Friday in the Spirit Ice Arena. The Aggies look to advance past .500 on the season after back-to-back losses to Weber State.

The team opened up its season with a 4-0 start, sweeping both Texas State and UT Arlington. A&M then traveled to compete in Colorado by facing Northern Colorado and Denver University, where the Aggies were a bit more exposed finishing 1-3 in their four matches.

“Scoring in the first game of the season was my favorite moment so far this season,” sophomore center Nick Early said. “Last semester, I didn’t score a goal. I was in a bit of a rut, but somehow I found the back of the net on my first shot of the game. We lost the first three games [in Colorado], but in the fourth game, we actually ended up winning by a pretty sizable margin. To beat Denver was a pretty good way to end our road trip on a high note.”

The toughest game for the Aggies this season was against the No. 7 Weber State, where they lost their first home matches of the season. Freshman right wing Gary Russell and left wing Michael Mirabella were the sole Aggies to score on the Wildcats. Freshman defenseman Andrew Monhollen said Russell plays a very strong role on the team.

“[Russell] is leading the team in points right,” Monhollen said. “He’s really supported and brings the team together. He leads in points, very energetic in the locker room and gets us rowled up for every play. From a freshmen standpoint, it feels great being able to represent a large university … Being able to represent and win for [A&M], it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before.”

Russell has led the Aggies to five wins, scoring at least one point against each opponent thus far in the season. He opened the season with a team-high three goals against Texas State and followed with goals against UTA, UNC, Denver and Weber State. Senior left wing Cyrus Burkard is another Aggie that had success, specifically in his match against UTA where he earned a hat-trick.

“The best moment was when we played UTA,” Burkard said. “I got my first hat-trick I’ve ever gotten in my whole career. That was definitely a good moment. Another moment was when we took the trip to Colorado. Off of the ice, we got to know a lot more of the guys and became better friends with everyone on the team.”

As for the Longhorns, the team has captured five wins with four losses thus far. The team also faced the UTA Mustangs and swept the series as well. Their schedule has also included two losses to Dallas Baptist, a sweep over TCU and a 1-1 series against the Texas State Bobcats. Most recently, the Longhorns took on Weber State and loss in a 9-0 beating.

“We get a lot of fans and it gets pretty rowdy in [the Spirit Ice Arena],” Texas A&M head coach Sean Boyle said. “As far as the importance of the game on the season, this is pretty much a must-win for us. We have to win this game, our goal every year is to beat every Texas team we play.”
The match will be at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Spirit Ice Arena in College Station. Any tickets purchased from the previous scheduled A&M/Texas game will be honored at any home game later this season.

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